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About the Author - James S. Olson Ph.D.

James S. Olson, Ph.D., works in the past, but lives in the present. Originally diagnosed with epitheliod sarcoma in 1981, he came to M. D. Anderson for treatment. Nearly 30 years later,
M. D. Anderson has seen him through 10 recurrences, many rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, and the amputation of his left forearm.

Olson doesn’t dwell on the past, but it’s his profession to explore it. He has taught history at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, since 1972.

As a historian with this personal experience of cancer, Olson brings a unique perspective to a new book that details the history of the institution that saved his life. “Disease and Discovery at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center: Making Cancer History,” published by the Johns Hopkins University Press, took him eight years to finish.

Just as Olson’s own battle with cancer had high peaks and near-bottom lows,
M. D. Anderson didn’t gain the U.S. News & World Report ranking as the nation’s No. 1 cancer center overnight. He hopes he’s reflected that in the book.

“The history of M. D. Anderson requires neither apology nor embellishment, and I intend the book to be more than a psalm of grateful praise,” he says. “Triumphal history is boring, uncritical and dishonest, denying the vicissitudes of human nature with its hubris and heroism, its flashes of miserable failure and soaring success.” Wikipedia


Interviews With James S. Olson

Video: Author James S. Olson on Making Cancer History - James S. Olson author, professor and cancer survivor shares personal stories as well as those he researched for the M. D. Anderson biography.

Audio: The Making of Making Cancer History: In a special episode of Cancer Newsline, Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D. hosts a discussion between author James Olson Ph.D. and M. D. Anderson President, Dr. John Mendelsohn, M.D.

Purchase the Book

Price: $35.00
Purchase the Book

Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN: 13:978-0801890567

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center